Another Throat

Twenty-First-Century Black US Persona Poetry and the Archive

By Ryan Sharp

Another Throat

Approx. 288 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 1 halftone

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-8063-7
    Published: October 2024
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-8062-0
    Published: October 2024

Paperback Available October 2024, but pre-order your copy today!

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The early twenty-first century has seen a sharp rise in Black US poets employing the mask of persona, often including and interrogating archival materials as they do so. While some have observed this rise and noted its connection to historical figures, Ryan Sharp explores it more deeply, as a project-based historical and poetic practice. Sharp examines its sustained use of historical persona and capacity for conjuring Black speakers as a countermeasure against the archival silencing and misrepresentation of Black voices and histories—a tactic he theorizes as poetic fabulation—through the poetry of Elizabeth Alexander, Cornelius Eady, Adrian Matejka, Patricia Smith, Natasha Trethewey, and Frank X Walker. This poetic practice is not only about looking back but about critically and creatively (re)imagining the past to expand the possibilities for Black presents and futures.

Through his argument, Sharp demonstrates how the unique aesthetic and rhetorical license afforded to poetry, along with the interiority of persona, empowers such historically minded projects to be concurrently invested in the curation of Black narratives and identities.

About the Author

Ryan Sharp is assistant professor of English at Baylor University.
For more information about Ryan Sharp, visit the Author Page.


"Sharp's analysis and thoughtful treatment of different kinds of poetic projects—even as they all fit under the rubric of persona poems—demonstrate his dexterity as a thinker. His book offers an incisive and valuable portrait of African American poetry's powerful historical imagination."—Keith D. Leonard, American University